Thursday, July 23, 2009

Knitted Guest Hand Towel Pattern

Bubble Up Towel

New:  This pattern is available on Ravelry.  Click the highlighted text to view the pattern page on Ravelry and to download the pattern.
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Yarn--4 50 gm. hanks (88 yds.) Pakucho cotton, color Natural (very white).

Small amount of contrasting yarn, about 20 yds ea. of 2 colors. I used Blue Sky Organic Cotton.

Needles--size 7 or size needed to get gauge.

Gauge: 20 st./4 in, gauge is not crucial.


Cast on a multiple of 5 stitches plus 1. For a finished size of 15" wide by 22" long, allowing for shrinkage when washed, cast on 81 stitches.

Begin with a turned hem, so if you are careful about such things, use a size 7 or 8 needle to cast on, then knit on a 6. You're going to sew or knit this hem down and you want a loose edge to sew or pick up, and you want the back side to be fairly tight so the hem will lay flat. For me, I think, "It's just a towel" and use a long-tail cast on, starting with a size 8, switching right away to a 7. Draw out an extra long piece for your "tail" and you can use it to sew the hem down.

If you are really particular, use a provisional cast on, so that you can knit the loose stitches from the provisional cast on with the live stitches and eliminate sewing the hem. This is really overkill for a towel, but is one way to get a neat hem.


k - knit
p - purl
k2tog - knit two stitches together as one
k3tog - knit three stitches together as one

p1w - purl one, wrapping the yarn loosely twice around the needle, producing a stitch that has two loops around the needle rather than one

sl 1 del - slip one stitch purlwise, dropping the extra loop you wrapped around the needle on the row before, producing a long slipped stitch (lss)

Border Pattern:

Knit 5 rows in stockinette. If you haven't already, change to a larger needle, the needle you will use for the front of the towel.

Knit 1 row on the wrong size, forming a purl ridge on the right side.

Knit 4 rows in stockinette. Knit a RS row, knitting the cast on or live stitch from provisional cast on together to turn hem, or just sew the hem down later.

Begin border stitch pattern, "Bubble Wrap":

Stitch Pattern Notes: This stitch pattern is from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge. It is a great book, and I am indebted to Ms. Epstein for the cute pattern. I've not seen it in any other stitch dictionaries, but am hopeful that it is ok to use it here. Using this stitch pattern will make 15 bubbles, which are actually bobbles with the purl side showing. They are made from one stitch. On wraps, wrap yarn twice, loosely. Be sure to slip stitches with yarn in back. After all bobbles are made, pull the slipped stitches on each side of the bobble to tighten it and loosen the slipped stitch.

Row 1 (WS) With A, p1, *p1w, p2, p1w, p1* repeat 14 times more.

Row 2 (RS) With B, k1, sl1 del, k2, sl 1 del, *[k1, yo, k1, yo, k1] into next st, sl 1 del, k2, sl 1 del* repeat 14 times more, end k1.

Row 3 With B, p1, sl 1, p2, sl 1, *k5, sl 1, p2, sl 1* repeat 14 times more, end p1.

Row 4 With B, k1, sl 1, k2, sl 1 *p5, sl 1, k2, sl 1* repeat 14 times more, end k1.

Row 5 With B, p1, sl 1, p2, sl 1, *k2tog, k3tog, pass k2tog st over k3tog st, sl 1, p2, sl 1* repeat 14 times more, end p1.

Row 6 With A, k1, *drop first lss (long slipped stitch) off needle, sl 2, drop next lss off needle, then with LH needle, pick up first lss, sl 2 sts from RH needle back to LH needle, then pick up second lss with LH needle and k5* repeat 14 times more.

Row 7 With A, purl all stitches.

Row 8 With A, knit all stitches.

Rows 9-16 Repeat rows 1 through 8 once more, changing color B to color C.

Row 17 With A, purl

Row 18-19 With A, knit.
Towel Body:
Now you are ready to knit the middle portion of the towel. I used plain stockinette, but you can substitute another stitch pattern if you prefer. If you use stockinette, you need a border to prevent the edges from curling. I've tried garter, but it was too tight lengthwise. I then tried seed stitch, but it was too wide. In the manner of Goldilocks, I'm now trying the border stitch pattern from Arietta. I mean to use it in my next sweater, and need to practice it.

If you like a selvedge edge, use your favorite, such as slipping the first stitch of each row purlwise.

Body Pattern:
Knit one row, placing two markers, one after the first 10 stitches and one after 71 stitches, before the final 10, then begin edge pattern--

Row 1 (WS) Knit 10 stitches, slip marker, purl 61 stitches, slip marker, knit 10.

Row 2 Knit.

Row 3 same as Row 1.

Row 4 Knit.

Row 5 *p1, k1* 5 times, purl 61 stitches, *k1, p1* 5 times.

Row 6 -7 Knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

Row 8 Knit.

Continue the edge pattern (or the pattern of your choice) until the entire towel measures 15 inches in length, then begin the border pattern for the opposite end, first knitting a row on the wrong side then knitting 3 rows in stockinette. Repeat Rows 1-19 of the bubble wrap pattern, knit a wrong side row, knit 5 rows in stockinette, using a smaller needle if you like, and bind off and sew the hem. Alternatively, bind off while picking up purl bumps from the towel to attach the hem without sewing.

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Carla said...

Love this latest of your handtowels. I am seldom interested in much decoration for my body but I love to decorate my home. These are wonderful!

Laura said...

The handtowels are lovely, down to every little detail like the lengthwise edging. I like the color combos you have come up with too. Your instructions are a dream of precision, too. I have some Manos cotton left over from an old project, I'll have to see if it is enough for a towel.

Sam said...

Thanks for posting this pattern -- I love this design.

Tracy Batchelder said...

Thank you for sharing the pattern!

Stephanie said...

This is so gorgeous! I love it. Thanks for the pattern.

Xuskagg said...

Gorgeous! I will be starting one soon! thank you so much for the inspiration!

Harbormom said...

While this does make a beautiful dish towel, I'm thinking a winter scarf, knitted of mohair or a cashmere blend. The detail on the ends would be so beautiful...

Lizzie said...

I love this pattern! The edgings are beautiful.

Diane A said...

I would like to know what the abbreviation lss means. It is on row 6 of 2nd page. The instructions are as follows: With A, k1, *drop first lss off needle, sl2, drop next lss off needle. I have no idea what this means and can't find the abbreviation for lss anywhere. Feeling pretty stupid right now, as I am pretty sure this is simple. I just can't wrap my head around it right now. lol pun intended.

Diane A

Susan Luni said...

lss means Long Slipped Stitch. That is the slipped stitch that gets longer as you work subsequent rows.

Diane Asoyuf said...

Thank you Susan!